Georges Leiber Essay Contest

Second Annual Georges Lieber Essay Contest on Resistance

Image grid displaying photos of the Holocaust

Georges Lieber, at the age of 16, prided himself on being part of the French resistance. Perhaps because of that involvement, he and his family were identified and taken by the Nazis, and on July 3, 1944, Georges was deported to Auschwitz, where he was murdered. To make a blessing of Georges Lieber’s memory, please articulate an issue on or of resistance that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about resistance and yourself. Note that the most engaging essays often reflect deeply on a particularly meaningful experience or episode in one’s life. That approach could focus on resistance pertaining to:

  • A personal issue
  • A family matter
  • An academic inquiry
  • A dilemma in literature or film
  • A recent article or editorial in a major newspaper
  • A current conflict in American life
  • An international crisis


Email your essay, with “Georges Lieber” as the subject, to the Jewish Studies Committee at Gettysburg College:


In 2,000 words, you are encouraged to raise questions, single out issues, and identify dilemmas involving resistance. Essays may be written in the formal or informal tone, but most importantly, an individual voice should be evident. The essay should be developed from your point of view and may be biographical, historical, literary, philosophical, psychological, sociological or theological. It must be the original, unpublished work of one student. Only one essay per student per year may be submitted. It must have a title, and must be written in English. Essay should be titled, typed in 12-point font easily readable font (such as Times New Roman), double-spaced with 1” margins and numbered pages. Submissions will be judged anonymously, by the Gettysburg College Jewish Studies Committee. (We have heavily relied on the language from the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics essay contest.)


Registered high school students—first-year through senior—during the spring 2021 semester.


12:00 a.m. EST, March 29, 2021

Awards and Prizes

Award Prize
First Prize $1,000
Second Prize $500
Third Prize $300
Two Honorable Mentions $200

Essay contest winners 2020

First Place

Tobi Farbstein, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia, PA
“Resisting the Tradition of Sexism”

Second Place

Jesse Cromer, Biglerville High School, Biglerville, PA
“Holding On to History”

Vismaya Paul Mohindra, Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, MD
“Resistance Against Assimilation in America: The Irony of the Melting Pot”

Third Place

Benjamin Goldman, Lower Moreland High School, Huntington Valley, PA
“Who Builds the Motherland”

Honorable Mentions

Brooke Jordan
“The Beginning”

Emily Hammer
“Slipping Through My Fingers”

Alex Kohn, Oakland Mills High School
“Pajamas For Change”